Regions lead post-GFC growth

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 13:34 28/06/2013

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Auckland may have the population, but Taranaki, Southland and the West Coast were the fastest-growing regions in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, new figures show.

Statistics New Zealand has released a new measure of the country's regional economies, analysing 15 regions between 2007 to 2010.

Regional Statistics manager Peter Gardiner said that period was a strong one for primary industries and rural regions, while urban areas were hampered by a slowdown in manufacturing.

Over the four years and despite an economic slowdown, New Zealand's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 11.7 per cent, earning $189 billion by 2010.

Just over three-quarters was contributed by the North Island, and one-third was provided by Auckland.

But growth-wise, the country's dairying and mineral-rich regions were leading the way.

Taranaki's economy was the fastest-growing, with a growth rate of nearly 47 per cent as its oil and gas production industry expanded. Its supporting industries such as construction and manufacturing also increased.

The West Coast and Southland economies also enjoyed boom times, enjoying economic growth of 23.8 per cent and 23.3 per cent respectively.

Dairy farming was the main reason, and it lifted the South Island's overall contribution to national GDP by 0.6 percentage points to 22.3 per cent.

In Auckland, the economic slowdown had begun to bite, particularly in manufacturing and distribution.

Between 2007 and 2010, the Auckland region's contribution to the national GDP fell to 35 per cent, down 1.3 percentage points.

Wellington, which was less exposed to manufacturing, grew 13.4 per cent during the period, sustained at that point by its public, professional and business service sectors.

By 2010, it was the second-biggest regional economy, providing 14.2 per cent of the nation's GDP.

Canterbury was the third-largest, contributing 12.2 per cent to GDP and enjoying a growth rate of 13.1 per cent.

Gardiner said further regional economic updates would not be possible until next year when more information was available.

The next would probably stretch to 2011.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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